Friday 29 March 2013

Canny CAL.......Granny Squares.

Happy Easter to you all, I'm back today, to tell you about a new CAL, that I've joined, Beverley from Sew Canny has started a group on Ravelry, so if you fancy joining in the fun, go check it out. It's running for 24 weeks so you will end up with a baby blanket size or do two a week and end up with a Lapghan.

Week 1 was an Attic 24 pattern called Summer Garden Granny Square, it's a simple pattern to follow but is so pretty. Beverly is making hers 6" squared but as I'm making them for the Country Homes and Interiors charity, I'm making mine at 10cm squared which is the required size.

Week two is the Pinwheel Square by Cheery Mish Mash, what a great pattern, who'd have thought there are so many different granny square patterns.

I've also made this Heart Granny Square that I saw on Kandipandi's IG feed, it's a free pattern that you can find here.

I'm getting quite a little stash of Rowan Handknit Cotton, I buy the odd ball every now and again, if they've been reduced. I was thinking I might crochet these patterns in this yarn too so I end up with a Granny Square blanket.

These are the latest colours, I've recently bought, these are my favourite by far.

Week 3 will be released today I can't wait to see what pattern Beverley has chosen for us. Have a great Easter break, everyone.


Wednesday 27 March 2013

WIP Wednesday........A basket full of WIP's.

Good morning, my friends, I hope all my U.K. friends are keeping warm, who would have thought that British Summertime begins on Sunday. It so so unseasonally cold, after heavy snow all weekend, it has just started again here in the Midlands. This time last year we were basking in the warm sunshine with one of the warmest March's on record !!!!!

On with my WIP's now after that very British thing I've just done, talking about the weather, I have so many WIP's at the moment which is unlike me as I like to get one thing finished before I start another. I always have a big crochet project on the go and maybe one smaller project but this week, I have two that I'm doing as well as three crochet projects, which I will blog about soon.

First up my gorgeous Mary Jane Tearoom bunny, I've got a few patterns that I bought from Susan, I've started with Daisy Rabbit, first as I love her pretty dress.

Hopefully, I can get her body finished today, then try and get her dress and bloomers finished over the weekend, just in time for Easter. I'm using yarn from my stash, I'm knitting her body in Toft alpaca which so so soft to the touch, making it very tactile. The clothes, shoes and socks, I'm using Rowan Cashsoft 4ply and DK. The pattern is so easy to follow with well written instructions and also lots of photo's.

If you take a look over on Susan's blog, there is a section here, that tells you which yarns she prefers to use and for what. It is such an inspirational, pretty blog, that I love to browse. I hope you get a minute to check it out, also any questions about the patterns, she is very prompt and helpful when replying.

Next up is the Summer Flies Shawl, I bought some beautiful hand-dyed, pure kid mohair from New Forest Mohair, when I went to the NEC Hobbycraft show at the weekend. They were such a nice couple, who explained the process, having a small holding with about 40 Angora goats, which is where the wool is from and when it's been spun, she hand dyes it all.

I couldn't resist  these beautiful, rich colours and as soon I got home, I started looking for a pattern for it, hence why I have another WIP. I decided on the Summer Flies Shawl by Holly and Ella Knits.

It knits up surprisingly quick, I'm loving the pattern, it's written in seven sections, which is great as it really holds my attention. Each section is different so you want to carry on and finish each section, I just love how they've done that.

If you hop on over to Tami's blog you can check out what other WIP's are going on this week.

Thanks for stopping by, I haven't been near a computer over the last few days so will catch up with all your blogs over the next couple of days.


Wednesday 20 March 2013

Inspired by Stamping March Blog Hop.........Chalkboard Technique.

Hello, I'm back today with the second Inspired by Stamping Blog Hop, on the 20th of each month we will be featuring a different technique, idea or colour combination, this month it's a technique called the Chalkboard Technique

I've seen quite a lot of this technique on the internet but have never tried it myself, I absoloutely love the effect it gives and will definitely be giving it another a go.

I decided to use one of the quotes from the Amazing Inspiration set, this technique suits text very well.

I took a piece of black card and with a Versamark clear ink pad, I stamped the quote and covered with white embossing powder, take your heat gun and emboss until you get a nice, raised, glossy finish. Try not to handle the card too much as the white embossing powder will stick to where it's been handled, you could use an embossing buddy to help with this.

Ink the stamp up again with white ink and carefully over-stamp the embossed image, I went slightly to the left and bottom of the text. Before it dries, with my finger, I smudged it in places to make it look like it had been wrote in chalk. It also gives a slight 3-D effect.

I then took the 'LIFE' stamp and in white ink stamped above the quote, giving it a more faded chalk look and did the same with the little fancy embellishment stamp from the Fancy Label 18 set. You never get clean chalkboards so I took a tissue and dabbed around the card in white ink, making it look like smudged chalk.

I then put my inspirational quote in an inexpensive frame, that I picked up from The Range, I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I think it would make a great gift.

We would love for you to have a go and upload your project onto your blog, leave a link using Mr Linky over on Joanna's blog. Two lucky people will each win a $25 gift card for the IBS Store, you don't have to use Inspired by Stamping products but if you do you could be a featured artist on the Inspired by Stamping Facebook page.

Checkout what the other DT have created using this great technique, you have two weeks to enter and will end the 3rd April.


and finally


this is where you link up.

Happy Crafting

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Knitted Stripy Baby Blanket.....finished just in time.

Phew, you know I wanted to finish the stripy baby blanket before the baby shower, well I finished it by the skin of my teeth. I finished it on the Friday, I was going to add fabric around the edge but decided to add a double crochet edge instead as I'm better at crochet than sewing.

It is a simple garter stitch blanket, I only used leftover yarn that I'd been hoarding, so it didn't cost me anything to knit, it's all merino wool and is so soft and snuglly.

I stitched one of my personalised fabric labels on to it,  it looked perfect in the pushchair and car seat that my Mom and I bought for her.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday 18 March 2013

Vintage Afternoon Tea Baby Shower...........

 Hi, did you all have a good weekend? Saturday was the baby shower that I was hosting for my sister, it went really well and everyone had a great time.

I made the baby shower bunting using the Sizzix Perfect Pennant die and decorated it with lace.

 I made some tissue pompoms, you can find the tutorial here, I only made small ones so I cut the pack of tissue paper into quarters so I got 4 pompoms per pack. I also made a wool pompom garland.

The decorations were ready and all my vintage china was washed and ready to use, now for the food.

I took it upon myself to buy this badge for me.

My friend baked a delicious Victoria sponge, I'm not much of a baker but I wanted to bake at least one cake. I'd been told the Lemon Loaf from Paul Hollywood's new book was gorgeous, so I had a go at that recipe.

It turned out well and tasted gorgeous, I would definitely recommend this recipe, it is very quick and simple.

I cheated with these, I bought some ready-made cupcakes and decorated them with cream icing and these cute little feet.

 With the table laid and full of sandwiches and cakes, we were just waiting for the guests to arrive and the fun and games to begin.

This was the Dirty Diaper game, which always makes me laugh when I see their reactions when they open the nappy. I only put nice things in there, like Nuttella and peanut butter, melted Twix and chocolate cake so it was quite aright for them to have a little try, not that many did !!!!
We played Baby Bingo, Feed the Baby which is like Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Guess the Girth, to name just a few.

I also did a Nappy Fund where they had to guess how many chocolate eggs are in the baby's bottle for a pound a go, the winner won the bottle of eggs.

She was so lucky, she received some gorgeous gifts.

It was a great success, my sister had such a fab time, she never does anything for herself so deserved this baby shower so much, at the end of the afternoon, all the guests had a pillow box with a washi tape tea light.

Have a great week.

Friday 15 March 2013

Pillow Box......with a washi/fabric tape tea light.

Happy Friday, everyone, I'm sure the weeks are going quicker !!!! Tomorrow, I'm hosting a Baby Shower for my sister, who has her baby boy in 8 weeks time. I will be serving Afternoon Tea with lots of fun and games.

I thought I would give all the guests a little 'Thank You' gift as they left, like a grown-up party bag. I covered each Pillow Box, which I cut using the Sizzix Pillow Box die, with SU Tea for Two paper and cut a small doily into quarters. I had some small shop bought tags which I stamped a tag from the IBS Fancy Tags set and then stamped the 'Thanks' which is from the Little Phrases II. Lastly I added the bow, IBS Flowers and the tag to the box.

I decided to put a little scented tealight in each box, but decorated them with washi/fabric tape, I used was fabric.

I bought some inexpensive candles...........

and transformed them into these.

I covered around the plain metal with the tape, make sure the tape doesn't overhang the top, you don't want the flame to catch it. I did burn a candle to check that it was safe after the fabric tape was added, it was absolutely fine but please put it on a safe surface and don't leave it burning unattended.

Have a great weekend and I will let you know how the baby shower went in the next few days.


Thursday 14 March 2013

IBSIC #50......Light Blue, Light Pink and Light Green.

Hello my friends, I'm back today with a card for this week's Inspired by Stamping Inspiration Challenge, this is the first time in a while since I've created a card for the challenge. I have so much going on at the minute, I have 80 wedding invitations and favour boxes to make and I'm organising a Baby  Shower for my sister, hopefully, I'll have a bit more time in the next couple of weeks.

Here is this week's inspiration board, a beautiful, soft colour palette, perfect for Spring. 

I went with an Easter card as I had some gorgeous new Inspired by Stramping Easter stamps that I wanted to ink up.

I also used this week's sketch from Mojo Monday.

I stamped the mason jar from the IBS Mason Jar set and stamped onto some lined paper, I stamped the Easter eggs from the Mason Jar Add-On III and added some glitter to the eggs. Next I stamped the lid, also from the Add-On III onto some blue patterned paper and added some ruched ribbon along the rim of the lid. Lastly, I stamped part of one of the Easter Labels and tied some linen thread around the lid to attach, finishing off with a bow and an IBS Flower.

I hope you can join us this week, one lucky winner will win a $15 gift card to the store.

Happy Crafting

Saturday 9 March 2013

Inspired by Stamping New Releases.....Mason Jars Add-On III

Here's my last creation for the Inspired by Stamping March release, and what a great set, this one is the Mason Jar Add-On III, this set has 10 spring type images and sentiments, it works perfectly with the Mason Jar set.

I stamped the jar from the  Mason Jar stamp set onto pattern paper and cut out, I stamped the "Filled with Love" sentiment from the Add-On III set and punched some hearts. I attached some IBS Lace and an IBS Flower.

I hope you've enjoyed this month's release, you can purchase from tomorrow, here are the links to see what the other DT have created today.

 Joanna will be giving away a $25 gift card, today and each day until the 10th March, just leave a comment on Joanna's blog post, to be eligible. One comment per person, each winner will be randomly selected and the winner will be announced daily the following day.

All the stamp sets will be available to purchase from tomorrow with free shipping on orders of $25 or more, for 24 hours only. All stamp sets will be offered as a bundle for a 10% discount.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday 8 March 2013

Crochet Granny Squares for Charity..........

Happy Friday, my friends, I hope you've all had a good week and looking forward to the weekend. I'm back today with some Granny Squares that I'm crocheting for charity.

I've been very blessed throughout my life, I had a lovely childhood, I've got the most amazing friends and family, I've been married for nearly 25 years, I have two gorgeous daughters, who are happy with their lives and both enjoy their jobs. I've had my ups and downs, like everybody else but on a whole it's been mostly ups.

So, when I saw that Country Home and Interiors magazine have just launched a Crochet Club, where you can learn to crochet and raise money for charity, I thought it would be a nice way to give back. There chosen charity is Mencap and all the squares they receive will be made up into accessories and auctioned for the charity.

They have joined forces with Rowan, who have created two Granny Square patterns for us to download and also a step by step 'How to Crochet' guide. In the above photo, the one on the left and the centre square, on the front row, are made using the free Rowan pattern.

I've also been trying some of the Granny Squares from Kate Webber's (Inverleith), new book, 500 Crochet Blocks, you will never run out of inspiration with this little book.

I think my favourite block from the book so far is 'climbing rose' with a traditional granny square pattern around it. It's the centre square on this photo.

You can use any granny square pattern as long as it measures 10cm by 10cm, I'm using Drops Merino Extra Fine yarn that I have in my stash, with a 3.5mm hook to get the right size square, I must crochet quite tight as my squares were way too small using the hook and yarn that is suggested for the patterns. If you fancy making some squares for charity you can find all the details and where to send them here.

My gorgeous friend,Kerry, is coming round to my house tonight for a Knit & Natter. I taught Kerry to crochet a few months ago now, she started off by making scarves and cowls but you can only make so many. She loved my Starburst Flower Throw, so I tried talking her in to giving one a go, she was convinced that she couldn't do it.

Eventually I convinced her that she could, after all she made a Ripple Cowl which I think the Ripple pattern is harder to grasp than the Starburst Flower blocks. Anyway after a couple of weeks she had all these little beauties.

So my evening will consist of a Chinese takeaway, a glass of wine , crochet, chatting and I can guarantee lots of laughter !!!!!

Have a great weekend.

The Handmade Sock Society 3 by Helen Stewart

Hello there, I just wanted to let you all know that Season 3 of  The Handmade Sock Society  is available for pre-sale  here  with an Ea...